I am an Albanian American woman and I was born in Albania as were my parents. I found this week’s reflection very interesting since I was completely unaware of the high prevalence of Hepatitis B in Albanian women. I have to admit that it was really difficult to find a lot of information and research on Albania because it is such a small country and easily overlooked. I did find, however, that Albanian women had such a high prevalence of Hepatitis B mainly due to not being vaccinated. That really ties in with this week’s lectures because it shows just how important other factors are in your overall health, so just because your genetics may not predispose you for certain diseases, that doesn’t mean that you won’t get other ones. In the country of Greece Albanian immigrant women had the highest percentage, next to greek women, of Hepatitis B and the study concludes that the main reason was low vaccination rates. Overall Albania is a poor country and many people immigrate to other countries for a better life just as my family did. So I was surprised to see that not only is Hepatitis B prevalence so high in Albanian women living in Greece, but also that these women were pregnant. So now they are passing on this infection to their babies.
This week’s material was quite interesting and really explained the association between race, genetics, and health. I learned that race and genetics can really almost predispose or in a way, predict someone’s overall health. In the material this week, one thing that stood out to me is how Type 2 Diabetes prevalence was so high among the Pima Indians. I learned that clearly genetics and environment can all predispose us to certain diseases. Although our genetic material cannot be changed, I believe that taking care of yourself by exercising, eating well, drinking water, and really paying attention to your lifestyle.
Elefsiniotis, Ioannis S. “Hepatitis B Markers and Vaccination-induced Protection Rate Among Albanian Pregnant Women in Greece.” WJG World Journal of Gastroenterology: 5498.